The Department of Defence has awarded Telstra its billion-dollar terrestrial communications contract after two-and-a-half years of industry discussions.
The contract ties together Defence’s corporate and military telecommunications requirements into a single high-speed IP-based network, as part of a wider consolidation and standardisation effort.
Defence was considering bids from Telstra and Optus as of August 2012, with a decision expected in late September 2012.
Telstra told investors today that it had been selected as the preferred tenderer, although the contract had yet to be signed.
“We can confirm Telstra has been selected as the Department of Defence’s preferred tenderer for its Terrestrial Communications Services Request for Tender,” a company spokesman said.
“We are now working closely with Defence to finalise our offer and its execution prior to contract signing.”
Roll-out is expected to start early next year. By early 2015, the terrestrial communications project is expected to transform Defence into what one official described as “the biggest ISP in Australia”.
The project was expected to lower costs, improve operations and enable Defence users to connect to its networks at any time, at times via their own devices.
Defence also hoped to explore desktop-to-desktop video conferencing as part of the terrestrial communications project, titled Joint Project 2047 Phase 3.